Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.
Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.
By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.
As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.
But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.
While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.
The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...
Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.
And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.
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New commitment to equestrian sportsWorld Tempus, February 5th
Longines announces its new association with the Longines FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses. The Swiss watchmaker becomes the Official Partner and the Official Watch of the international competition, which will take place this ...Read more
Simon Delestre closes in on Scott Brash on the Longines RankingEqunews International, February 5th
Yesterday welcomed a new dressage rier on top of the World Dressage Ranking. The latest world ranking however has no new leader. It is still Scott Brash who tops the Longines ranking, but France's show jumper Simon Delestre narrowed the gap to only 57 ...Read more
'Rome Wasn't Built In Two Days': Longines Measures Racing Success In Years ...Paulick Report, February 2nd
Bob, Jill, and Bode Baffert, Juan-Carlos Capelli, Louis Romanet, Victor Espinoza, Ahmed, Joanne and Justin Zayat accepting their awards as American Pharoah named Longines World's Best Racehorse. The connections of Triple Crown winner American ...Read more
Success at last for Opatrny with victory at Longines FEI World Cup Arab League ...Eurosport.co.uk, February 1st
The final day of the Dubai Show Jumping Championship opened with the Dh120,000 Longines Accumulator, which was won by Germany's David Will. The victory completed a successful weekend for Will as he won the Emirates Airline Two Phase on ...Read more
FEI World Cup™ in ZurichWorld Tempus, January 31st
Numerous visitors admired the outstanding performances of the world's best riders and horses this weekend at the Hallenstadion. During the spectacular single Swiss leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ series on Sunday, one of the highlights of this year...Read more
Juan Manuel Luzardo and Stan Win the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Valle de ...Practical Horseman Magazine, January 24th
In the inaugural Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifier, 28 horse and rider combinations galloped through the Longines arch at the entrance to the arena attempting to pass the test course designer Guilherme Jorge set. Ten mastered the first round ...Read more
Broadening Understanding of Pharoah's Impact at Longines AwardsAmerica's Best Racing (blog), January 22nd
American Pharoah's owner Ahmed Zayat (right) chats with Felix and Jilly Cooper and other guests at the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities' Longines World's Best Racehorse Award Ceremony in London. (All photos courtesy of Longines ...Read more
American Pharoah Named Longines World's Best Racehorse of 2015America's Best Racing (blog), January 19th
American Pharoah added a World's Best Racehorse title to his Eclipse Awards in Tuesday's ceremony in London. (Photos by Eclipse Sportswire). American Pharoah was named the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) Longines World's ...Read more